Tributes after two teenagers fatally stabbed in London in 24 hours

Tributes have been paid to two teenagers who were fatally stabbed on the streets of London within 24 hours.

Flowers were laid near Clapham South Tube station in memory of a 17-year-old killed there on Friday.

Clapham stabbing
Clapham stabbing

Less than a day earlier, 15-year-old Jay Hughes was pounced on in a "premeditated attack" near a chicken shop in Bellingham, south-east London.

His family paid tribute to him as "very bright and brilliant at art".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the teenagers' deaths were "a terrible waste of young lives", as he offered his condolences to their families.

The fatalities came as debate continues over the effect of police budget cuts and what officers should focus their limited resources on.

Meanwhile, police said two teenage boys were shot from a car in the Handsworth area of Birmingham on Friday night.

West Midlands Police said a 15-year-old is in a stable condition in hospital after being shot in the back, while a 14-year-old was hit in the arm.

Jay was attacked near the Morley's chicken shop in Randlesdown Road, Bellingham, at about 5.20pm on Thursday.

His aunt, 32-year-old Rochelle, said he went out "to get some food and he never came back", the Evening Standard reported.

"He loved riding his mountain bike, was very bright and brilliant at art. He wanted to be a cartoonist," she added.

Bellingham stabbing
Bellingham stabbing

The attack on the 17-year-old, who has not yet been formally identified, happened at about 4.35pm on Friday near the south-west London Underground station.

Purple flowers wishing the boy "lots of love" were left near the scene.

Scotland Yard have yet to make any arrests over the latest two fatalities, which bring the homicide tally in the capital to 115 this year, 19 of them teenagers.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who is Britain's top officer, said on Friday that "stretched" forces must priorities serious violence and drug gangs rather than non-criminal acts of misogyny.

She said officers "can't go on increasing the scale of the mission" without further funding as she indicated that other offences, such as online fraud, were lower priority.

Violent crime devastates communities – and we're working tirelessly with @metpoliceuk and others to tackle it.

Anyone with information about this incident should call the police on 101 or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111. There is no honour in staying silent. https://t.co/lkt61RtY14

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 2, 2018

The London Mayor has previously blamed rising violence on £700 million cuts to the Met's budget over seven years, with more expected to come.

On Friday, Mr Khan announced the latest measure in the "public health approach" to tackling violence, with a review of the most serious offences since 2014 to discover the trends behind attacks.